The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival is the largest festival in the world entirely devoted to history, and it takes place annually in south-west Wiltshire at the end of June. In 2017 it will be moving site to Church Bottom in Broad Chalke. A hidden gem lying amidst ancient chalk pasture and narrow coombes, the new site is now closer to the City of Salisbury than the previous location and it has better access routes.
Festival Programme Director, James Holland, said: “We’re obviously sad to be leaving Ebbesbourne Wake, as we’ve had five happy years there. But Church Bottom is also an absolutely stunning spot and still in the heart of the Chalke Valley, two factors we believe are of vital importance.’ The dates for this year’s Festival have also been announced. It will take place from Monday 26th June to Sunday 2nd July, with the Schools Festival for Year 6, 7 and 8 pupils scheduled on Tuesday 27th June and Thursday 29th June, and Year 10 and 12 students on Wednesday 28th June.
Distinguished historians and well-known commentators will again be headlining the speaker programme. Names already confirmed include David Cannadine, Ken Clarke, Suzannah Lipscomb, Monty Don, David Owen, Artemis Cooper, Chris Patten, Don McCullin in conversation with Max Hastings, Philippe Sands, A.N. Wilson, Dan Snow, Harriet Harman, John Julius Norwich, Bettany Hughes, Diarmaid MacCulloch, Matt Frei, Claire Tomalin, Michael Frayn, Peter Frankopan, Jenni Murray, Antony Beevor, Anita Anand and William Dalrymple. And flying over from Germany will be Niklas Frank, Hitler’s Godson.
As in previous years, there will be another amazing line-up of historic war birds flying over the site during the weekend, as well as music and dancing at a specially-themed party on the Saturday night. 2017 marks the 100th anniversary not only of the Battle of Passchendaele but also of The Russian Revolution and the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, with both events being highlighted during the Festival week by Professors Robert Service and Catherine Merridale.
There will also be two special study mornings which will include a seminar on the Napoleonic Wars and a special event featuring three German wartime Knight’s Cross winners who will be talking about their experiences. Plus, there will be more displays and demonstrations by living historians than ever before, all eager to share their passion for and knowledge of the past. There will be something to entertain or educate, whatever age you are.
The full programme outlining a wide range of activities, and giving more details about the talks and topical debates taking place, will be announced in due course, and tickets will go on sale on 26th April.
Further information about the Festival will be posted on the website at www.cvhf.org.uk over the coming months. For further information, please contact Alex Hippisley-Cox on 020 8488 3764/mobile 07921 127077 or email her at [email protected]
The Daily Mail Chalke Valley History Festival will take place at Church Bottom, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 5DS. For more details about the Festival, please visit www.cvhf.org.uk Follow all the news on Twitter at @CVHISTORYFEST and on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.